my tomatoe list

oldokieDecember 15, 2012

you all plant tomatoes i have not heard of in the old days it was Rutgers marglow some of those
It is about the same as last year
sweet 100 pick and eat like grapes
sun sugar
early girl
lemon boy
jet star
may be a couple more if i find something at feed store or atwoods
looking at better beef have read it can stand hot weather

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Hey OldOkie,

Do you mean Rutgers and Marglobe? Those were two out of three that my boyhood mentor insisted upon. They're GOOD tomatoes!

Your list looks like a good one for dependability. I have been reading a couple of posts, on the other thread, every day. But it's been growing so fast, I can't get to the end of it!

Tahlequah, OK

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 7:46AM
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A lot of people on the forum grow a mix of hybrids and heirlooms. I am very new at growing tomatos and I have to grow mine in containers for purposes of space (I line my driveway with big buckets, ranging in size from 5 gallon to 30 gallon). I wish I could grow them in the ground....

You might consider growing a couple of heirlooms. Black Cherry, for instance, is an indet. cherry, that looks more purple to me than black, but that is what the kings of tomatodom have dubbed a black fruit in most cases. It is a sweet, earthy, bold, tomatoey flavor IME, and grows well in our Oklahoma climate.

There are a lot of suggestions on the thread Dawn began about the tomatos she plans to grow. Most of us take a page from her book on suggestions, which are usually a mix of heirlooms and hybrids. I think she is growing more hybrids this year, but with Dawn, you never know - she'll probably add a few more before she finally gets them all in the ground, huh, Dawn?


    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 8:33AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


I've grown every tomato variety on your list and like them all. They are the varieties I planted every year before and right after we moved in 1999. However, I discovered more and more old heirloom types over the years, and have worked really hard to find the ones that produce the best in my heat and that have the best flavor. Just because I've stopped growing some of the tomato varieties on your list doesn't mean that I do not think they are good or great tomatoes---it just means that I have found others I like more.

I grew Marglobe and Rutgers both this year, and I usually grow them about every 2nd or 3rd year. Jetstar is one of my favorites and I grew it every year for a long time, but now grow Crimson Carmello instead.

Better Beef? I don't know that one. Better Boy grows very well for me in southern OK and produces very well, but I like the flavor of Big Beef more and it produces just as well or better in the heat. It has more of the old-fashioned flavor that I like. There is a hybrid called Better Bush that I love to plant in a pot in February for ripe tomatoes before the end of April. I just carry or drag the potted tomatoes into the garage on cold days or cold nights.

For anyone looking at Oldokie's list and wondering about Sun Sugar, it is incredibly similar to SunGold. When I grew both of them in the same years, if I planted them side by side, it was very hard to tell them apart because the flavor is so similar. SunSugar is less likely than SunGold to crack.

I began dropping a lot of the hybrids years ago and replacing them with open-pollinated heirloom varieties with superior flavor. My favorite tomatoes are the black tomatoes, which produce fruit that ranges from a greenish-mahoghany to a sort of pinkish-dark maroon. The flavor of black tomatoes in a good tomato year exceeds the flavor of almost any other tomato I've ever grown, except for SunGold and Brandywine.

Susan, I grew a lot more hybrids last year, and found myself tossing all the hybrid slicers into the canning batches instead of eating them fresh. The flavor of the hybrids cannot compete with the heirlooms. So, this year I don't think I have nearly as many hybrids on my list at all, and the ones I do have mostly are for containers, for bite-sized tomatoes or for early tomatoes. For the main-season, in-ground crop, the only hybrids that aren't cherries that I can think of on my list are Crimson Carmello, Indigo Rose and Phoenix. Indigo Rose isn't even going into the tomato planting area. I am going to plant it in the flower border next to the driveway where people can easily see its bluish-tinged foliage and its blue fruit. I believe 9 of the 28 tomatoes on my grow list are hybrids: 3 for containers, 3 early types, and 3 main-season types.

My list is fairly firm. It was chosen in the belief that the drought would continue and we'd stay in a neutral ENSO cycle or might even return to La Nina since El Nino did not develop. I left it open-ended so I could trial a handful of paste types, and I usually add a couple of the newest releases each year (this year I might add 'Jasper', which is a 2013 AAS winner). You won't see me going back and adding to my grow list endlessly or in large numbers this year like I did last year when we actually had great fall/winter rainfall. Right now, my KBDI is at the point that, were it summer right now, I'd quit watering the garden and let it sink or swim on its own. It seems ridiculous to be planning to put in a garden at all when it is this dry, but I'll plant one anyway.


    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 9:38AM
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"It seems ridiculous to be planning to put in a garden at all when it is this dry, but I'll plant one anyway."

Of course you will. We know that we can't predict the growing season accurately, so we plan for a worst case scenario. Truth is, we are addicted to pain, suffering, disappointment, and the impact of excessive heat on the human body - and to the process of growing-harvesting, from beginning to end.

If I thought about all the dead corn in the fields last summer, if I didn't have a garden that produced surprisingly well in drought conditions, I'd describe last year as a disaster. But i had good harvests of tomatoes, peppers, beans, etc.

It's Sunday night, so NFL games have been on all day. Patriots v. San Fran. 4th quarter winding down. Not long ago, NE was behind by nearly 30 points. Now, score is NE 31, SF 38, with less than 3 minutes. Who would have predicted that NE could come back after they were so far behind. Like our gardens, we can't predict and are often surprised.

Thankfully, I have no emotional investment in the outcome of this game. I do have an investment in getting enough sleep for this coming busy week ....


    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 12:33AM
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